In a rut with resources? Create, create, create!

Creating language learning resources with a bit of translation magic!

Do you ever tire of using the same old resources again and again? Or maybe you just can’t seem to hit upon exactly the right resources to switch you on. Maybe all you need is a bit of DIY. I was… Continue reading

Revisiting beginner resources for an accent audit

Beginner CD resources can help you audit your accent as an advanced learner. Image from freeimages.com

We all have languages we are proud of, languages we’ve worked hard at over the years. I count Norwegian as one of those. One I chose, rather than had thrust upon me at school, it’s something I’ve kept chugging away… Continue reading

Five ways to maintain variety in your language learning

Variety adds a bit of a colour to your learning. (Image from freeimages.com)

Routine and regularity are cornerstones of language learning. But if your structure is too rigid, you might find yourself tiring of the same old, same old. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to work some variety into your language learning plan… Continue reading

We’re going on a resource hunt! Finding language learning freebies on educational sites

A bear hunting resources. Probably not language learning ones, though. From freeimages.com.

We’re going on a bear hunt, sing the children in Michael Rosen’s children’s book of the same name, gorgeously illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. And that’s what much of my recent language work has felt like – if the bears are… Continue reading

Support your speaking skills with custom crib sheets

Note taking, particularly in the form of crib sheets, is a powerful way to summarise your knowledge.

If you have ever revised for exams, you are probably already familiar with the crib sheet. A condensed, one-page summary of all the major facts to remember, they have saved the academic life of many a student over the years.… Continue reading

Add some Eurovision sparkle to your language learning!

Eurovision 2017 Logo

The Eurovision Song Contest may be over for 2017 (congratulations, first-time winner Portugal!), but it can still be a sparkling, magical resource for teaching and learning modern foreign languages. Eurovision and languages have gone hand-in-hand for me since my early days… Continue reading

Teaching to learn: boost your studies by helping others

A classroom ready for teaching

The idea of learning through teaching is nothing new. We find the idea in an old Latin proverb, docendo discimus (by teaching, we learn), possibly handed down to us from Seneca the Younger. The premise is simple: being able to… Continue reading

Course books for linguists: save cash with revision guides

Study material for a course

When you commit to learning a foreign language, it’s not unusual for a first step to be seeking out good course material. There are plenty of very well established courses, the best including audio material. The staple Teach Yourself series, for example, was… Continue reading

Sentence building: Go beyond words with Tatoeba

A dictionary won't always help you learn words in their natural habitat: the sentence.

Learning and assimilating vocabulary in a foreign language isn’t simply a case of learning lists of words: context matters. Just like a careful zoologist observing animals in the wild, it’s important to study words in their natural habitat: the sentence. Conversely,… Continue reading

Swagbucks for linguists: premium learning that spares your wallet

Sites like Swagbucks can really help spare your wallet by offering rewards you can turn into language learning resources.

Language learning can be a pricey business. Apps, books, subscriptions – they all add up. Enter Swagbucks, which is great for turning clicks into learning resources! I’ve been using the Swagbucks reward site since November, when I found out that… Continue reading